CrazyEngineers Archive
Old, but evergreen and popular discussions on CrazyEngineers, presented to you in read-only mode.
@Saandeep Sreerambatla • 27 May, 2009
Hi guys ,

What are mutation strings? How are they used in programming?
Can we use the same in C language.
Can some give a clear idea about these mutation strings?
@Saandeep Sreerambatla • 29 May, 2009 I have read about these strings in Dan browns novel .
These are something which multiplies itself like worms in system and creates security hazards in the story.

So what actually these are??
@Ashraf HZ • 29 May, 2009 Are you talking about Digital Fortress? I think he referred to those algorithms that change itself over time so it can be remained undetected. Kind of like those polymorphic viruses maybe 😉
@smita89 • 30 May, 2009 Dan Brown is although a fantastic writer, his technical concepts aren't always clear 😀
read this: Digital Fortress — Stranger Than Fiction » Armin Ronacher

There is no such thing as Mutating Strings. However, there is a concept of Mutable strings in Java. But the concept that Brown has used in the books is related to encryption algorithm, whereas the Java classes that I've mentioned are nowhere related to the encryption/decryption concepts.

There are two string classes in Java string (immutable) and stringbuffer (mutable). String class is used to manipulate character strings that cannot be changed. The StringBuffer class is used to represent characters that can be modified. So stringbuffer is better for dealing with dynamic values (that's what the technical mutable strings means).

Now what Brown mentioned in the book was some sort of glitch in the algorithm to encrypt the program. The algorithm had two parts, one pointed to decrypting part of the program, and after decryption contain a clue to decrypt the next half of the program. But while the 1st half was being decrypted, the 2nd half of the algorithm rotated in a way that the first clue became redundant (concept of rotating cleartext). So the program was not able to be opened at all.

Actually no such thing exists 😁
@shalini_goel14 • 30 May, 2009
Actually no such thing exists 😁
Exactly. 😁

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